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Old 08-04-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
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Repair or Replace rubber roof?

I have a 95 Skyline Outland and yesterday when I got on the roof to shoot some sunset pictures, I was shocked at the condition of the rubber roof. There is a tear in the membrane and all the edges looked they were caulked with sealant that has cracked.



Didn't recall it looking that bad when I bought it about 18 months ago. But it is in the desert southwest and the sun/heat seems to have nuked whatever repairs were made by the previous owners.

How difficult is it to install a completely new roof using the Dicor system? I think I need to get all this old stuff off and start over. Thank goodness it rarely rains out here!
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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I would cover it right away with a tarp if it threats of rain, yes it's time to replace there is no saving that one it's splitting and is beyond the doctoring up stage.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
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Is this a project I can do myself? I'm pretty handy, but have no clue. Will need to do some serious homework before I go for it. PPL (Houston) has replacement roof kits, but I'll need to find out exactly what size I'll need as my roof has that slanted angle. You don't realize how many things are on the roof until you start counting at how many places the new membrane will have to be fitted around... yikes!
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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I posted a reroof summary, see link below. It covers most questions. It is something you can do but at times a second set of hands certainly helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. If I were to do it again, I'd find or make a roof to work under.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Google EDPM roofing material. Your roof looks very rough. All the caulk especially silicon would need to be removed and any rips repaired with Eternabond tape. Then recoat the entire roof with a heavy coat of EDPM liquid. Good Luck
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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I'd go with Brite-Tek roofing. It won't chalk and lasts longer. Ours is 10 years old and still looks great although I do check the sealant every few months. Even that is still pretty good for being over 10 years old.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:25 PM   #7
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THANKS for all the suggestions and tips!

After further review, I may do the demo/prep work but try to bring in an expert to actually do the new roof install so it's done right and will last.

The joy of living in the desert is lack of rain or I'd be looking at serious water damage. I'm hoping once I get the old stuff off the wood underneath is OK. Fingers crossed, will keep everyone posted. When I bought this unit 18 months ago, I looked at the roof but didn't really know what to look for. I just made sure there were no cracks or splits and at the time of purchase there wasn't. But then again, maybe the dealer did a quick fix with the wrong type of sealers which cracked from this year's tremendous heat. My previous RV had a metal roof so I really didn't know about rubber membranes and maintenance factors involved with rubber roofs. This is a learning process for sure.

Man, there's a lot of stuff on this roof! 2 standard 14" vents, roof AC unit, 2 skylights, refrigerator vent, tv antenna, radio antenna + 2 or 3 plumbing vents. Looks like most of the labor will be to get everything off and then get the roof prep done. That I can do for sure.
TV & radio antenna's are outdated and not used, they will probably not go back on, leaving two less spots in the new roof material that have to be cut/sealed.

I'll put up some scaffolding so the roof AC won't have to be lowered to the ground and then lifted back up, it will just be moved over to the roof height scaffolding.

If I can get enough scaffolding from my construction friends, I might be able to go high enough to add a sunshade (tarp/beams) cover over the top allowing work in the shade. That would really be sweet.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Demo Day 1 - Found one dry rotting corner which means the rear deck sheeting will need to be replaced. The wood was also rotting at the luggage rail screw spots, but it is all on just the one half sheet at the far end of the RV. The black stuff from the old roofing material gets on everything! So I know the decking will need a good cleaning and new seam seal tape before time to glue on new material. Quality "non marking" knee pads and leather gloves a must for this job.

Discovered the skylight over the kitchen is cracked just above the flange so that explains where the drip was coming from around the skylight. No wood damage here, just some good prep/cleaning needed and hopefully I can find a new skylight the same size.

Tarps are expensive and not the right size. I found 6 mil construction grade plastic sheeting at Home Depot in a 10 X 100 ft roll that works perfectly for RV roof projects. 1 mil thicker than most tarps and $60 vs $160 for a 30 x 50 tarp.

Plans include replacing both bedroom and bathroom vents, adding new Maxxair cover to bedroom vent. Day 1 demo has revealed I also need a new 18 x 30 skylight and new Dometic RV refrigerator vent cap (existing one badly cracked). The luggage rail, crank up TV antenna and radio antenna will not be returning. The fewer holes in a roof, the better!

Thanks to everyone here at irv2.com for the encouragement to "just do it". Also thanks to the staff at PPL Motor Homes/Service in Houston for the online assistance in selecting the correct materials/size, etc.

Day 1 Lunch Break progress:
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Ouch. Another reason why I'm so glad we have an Excel 5th Limited with a fiberglass roof.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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What is the decking made of? Looks like luan to me.
Either way, you need to have a CLEAN deck before applying glue and rubber, otherwise it's a waste of time.
If there's rot, hope it didn't keep going down into stud work.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:37 AM   #11
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Concur on the cleaning, I'll light sand it to make sure all the old junk is off and I have good wood to glue to. The bad corner is going to be the challenge, we'll pull that up Saturday and see what's under "door number 1" .... Hopefully it is limited to top decking, but I won't know for sure until I do a "Holmes Inspection" under it. Could be luan, it does have an interior look to it for sure .. Any decking panels that get replaced will be with stronger plywood, especially on the ends. If I find so much as a bit of mold inside or on any edges, all the decking will come off and I'll redeck the entire rig. At this stage, there is no point in going in halfway ... all in or nothing.

@didymop: yeah, my old ancient Cimmaron had a metal roof and this rubber stuff has been a learning experience for me. The reason it has taken so long for me to start the project is the learning curve through online video's and tutorials. I looked on the roof and it seemed OK when I bought it 2 years ago, but having no experience as to what I was looking at ... who knows? But I got it at such a deal, I'm not complaining about having to do a bit of work. It is gorgeous on the inside and the perfect space for a single semi retired guy like me. The entire roof replacement will be less than most people's monthly house payment because I'm getting the labor for free - me. Full time RV living has both good and bad points, but the for me the positive far outweighs the negative.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #12
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@jeslivas: Not luan - looks like 5/16 4 ply plywood - at least to the incline. I'll bet the incline is either luan or particle board and the top over the bedroom goes down to 1/4".

Haven't got there yet, just got the AC off and the refrig vent crumbled into pieces when I touched it. It had been painted .... a big no no for RV vents! Plumbing vents have been screwed down with every other screw and over tightened with cracked flanges - so they will be all new. And so it goes when replacing an older RV roof.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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Any plastic piece screwed down, I usually just replaced. Cheaper than cleaning off the old Dicor.
Luan we use is just 3/16", just a top cover because the old OSB underneath has little chips that stick up after peeling off the old rubber and the chips will poke holes in the new rubber.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:58 PM   #14
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Ditto theory on the "use new". I'm going with all new vents and skylights.

Wood looks really good except that back section which gets pulled apart tomorrow. The old material pulled off with relative ease, no hot gun needed. Just shows how bad it had gotten. So we'll hit it with the sander and then reseal all seams and edges with new seam seal tape. For me to try to add a top layer to this array of roof angles and bends would probably end in disaster. Here's a pic after Day 2, just before I pulled the top vents and then covered up for the night.
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